• Did Ram Trucks Go Too Far with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Super Bowl Commercial? (Poll)


    Ram Truck’s “Built to Serve” Super Bowl LII commercial featuring a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech aired yesterday Feb 4, 2018. The commercial has raised a lot of eyebrows and controversy. The ad shows United States service men and women, emergency responders, hospital workers, and ordinary people working together or helping each other out. The new 2019 Ram 1500 as well several other Ram trucks are also featured in the ad as vehicles used by the people.

    Many people found issue with the commercial because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also used this same speech to discuss the dangers of overspending on cars, consumerism, and being “taken by advertisers”. Has Ram Trucks stepped over the line with this ad or did the message inspire good will?

    Feedback was immediate on Youtube and Social media. As you can tell by the comments, some are negative:

    While other comments support the commercial:

     

    Ram Trucks and FCA released this statement last night.

    It is­ 50 years to the day that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave such a tremendous speech about the value of service. Ram was honored to have the privilege of working with the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. to celebrate those words during the largest TV viewing event annually.
    We worked closely with the representatives of the Martin Luther King Jr. estate to receive the necessary approvals and estate representatives were a very important part of the creative process every step of the way.

    We would like to hear from you.

    Here is the commercial in its entirety. Let us know what you think in the comments below.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    80 thoughts on “Did Ram Trucks Go Too Far with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Super Bowl Commercial? (Poll)

      1. It’s not that feelings were hurt, it’s that the ad was a shameless plug to try and sell trucks.

        I thought it was in poor taste, but I didn’t get upset about it.

    1. It is obvious that the family had no issues cashing the big fat check FCA wrote for the rights to broadcast his words,so why would anyone (non family member) have anything else to say about the matter. People need to get off this whole politically correct thing. Likely why the ads have been a major suck fest for a while.

    2. I’m confused on how they said “in these dark times” I think our country is doing better then it has for the last 10 years. Also it was ok to use Paul Harvey’s “Farmer” and no one was offended by that and no one said oh boycott dodge but you use a Black mans speech and now it becomes wrong. “Colored” People and women (not all) are digging themselves a hole that no wants to deal with. They are making it harder on themselves to succeed because of this. I think we should ban MLK speeches because that’s history and they attempting to erase 242 years of history because some people don’t like hearing it. Get over it, it happen and no owes anybody anything that happened over 150 years ago. If the history needs to erased so does MLK and any other life changing thing that’s happen. This hit a nerve and it’s bullshit. Get over it you got a check and you have nothing else to Bitch about.

        1. Likely why GM used a Grizzly bear instead of a Polar Bear or Black Bear, something in the middle so no one could complain or get the students upset.

      1. Andre
        Over the years my friends and i have found thar it’s better if we don’t talk about politics. It doesn’t win you any more friends, but it can and will make you some enemies. And for what something you can’t change anyway. This is a great forum about trucks. I suggest you keep it that way, for your sake, my friend.

      2. I’m with you, Jon. Our country is doing better than it has in awhile, but they won’t admit it. Liberals are very selective in what history they want to erase and what they want to celebrate. RAM has absolutely nothing to do with King. Frankly, MLK was more busy worrying about which mistress he wanted to be with than what truck he wanted to drive.

    3. I bet , everyone who complains about using MLK speech in the commercial, never heard of those words before.
      Great speech BTW and great commercial. Truck should serve and not to be a status symbol.
      I like Wrangler commercial most.
      Straight forward, without happy smiling faces driving SUV in the city.

      1. It was rather ironic that that commercial followed a clean water commercial. Nothing like someone talking about having clean water and right after it, a Jeep running through a river. We all had a good laugh about that.

        1. Cars shouldn’t leak oil. Pentastar doesn’t leak. All the street water after rain ,or snow goes directly in to the river. What’s ironic is, that some old truck leaking oil , delivering clear water in the city.

      1. I thought the same same thing. Like the people who bought those cars had any idea Hundai was donating some proceeds or further yet, that this had any influence on their purchase decision. Almost all companies make charitable contributions. Thank the CEO or management; they are the ones who made the conscious decision to support a cause. The consumer had no direct influence here so what are they being thanked for? You can tell even the people in the commercial are like “WTF, what did I have to do with this” and are struggling to figure out what to say.

    4. It was probably my favorite commercial. Just like the “God made a Farmer” from a couple years ago, they are very impactful ads.

      The real problem is people who try to find something offensive about anything and everything. It’s pathetic.

      1. The God made a Farmer commercial was very good. Many farmers drive RAM trucks, so there is a connection. MKL and RAM trucks have zero connection.

        1. Farmers drive trucks, so there is a connection. Service men and women drive trucks, so there is a connection. What’s the difference? Why does playing an MLK speech while depicting service men and women all the sudden break the connection? But playing a Paul Harvey excerpt while depicting farmers doesn’t?
          Did Paul Harvey drive a Ram truck? Probably not.

          1. Rusty, if you hadn’t figured it out there are a lot of black folks who think they are living in Birmingham in the 1960’s still. So FCA jumped on the current bandwagon and overlaid a speech which has zero connection to the truck. I never disputed that farmers and servicemen drive RAM trucks. I simply disputed any connection between RAM and MLK. But speaking of servicemen, it’s ironic that USAA released a report a month ago saying that in the case of every branch of the armed forces, the F-150 was the most popular vehicle amongst its members. The Silverado was next, followed by the RAM. So while some servicemen certainly drive a RAM, more drive something else. A bit ironic that an Italian company chose this commercial to air.

      1. It’s a football game. Do we really need to see commercials that are phony “feel good” public service announcements that have a manufacturer logo shown at the end? These are the most expensive commercials anyone can buy. Why do I want to see a bunch of people with prosthetic legs followed by a Toyota logo? Why do I want to see a bunch of cancer patients followed by a Hyundai logo? The fact is the nation is deeply divided, and that isn’t about to change no matter how many expensive and completely meaningless ads are shown. I just want to watch the game and see some funny ads!

    5. Ram’s commercials usually do everything but talk about the truck and just try to draw up some imagagry: code of the west, guts and glory, MLK, etc. But I guess that’s what you have to do when you have carryover engines and the mild Hybrid option does nothing to help towing or hauling.

      1. No, that’s what you get to do when your outdated truck platform still sees year over year sales increases. People who use the trucks, know they’re good trucks. All the truck manufacturers are making pretty good trucks, and they are welcome to advertise them different ways.

        1. I wonder if they would see those gains if they hadn’t sold them for less than any of their competition.

          Let’s be real about why people buy Dodge products. They’re cheap.

          1. Average transaction prices don’t tell you anything if you don’t also know what each trim volume sells at comparatively. Is Ford selling more Platinum models and Ram selling more tradesman? Ford has said themselves they sell way more of the higher trim superdutys than base models.

        2. Ram was only up 2% last year. Ram is down 13% YTD this year. Ram’s ads stink. Same with the farmer ad someone mention. All imagry about farming and nothing about the truck.

          1. January dip is to be expected when brand new model is eminent. I take no offense to you not liking their advertisements. As i’m from a farming family, i appreciated the the farmer commercial. I was also not offended by their recent made to serve ad.

            I’m also happy they carried over the engines, as they perform well.

    6. I’m a registered Democrat, Trump-hating NY State resident and I don’t have any problems with the commercial. People are overreacting. It was a good chance to hear a great speech people either haven’t heard or have forgotten about…Plus the new RAMs are AWESOME!

    7. So Ram chose to spend millions on an ad that primarily focused on a Dr MLK speech and the sacrifice of service men and women…and people are actually upset? What?

      So other parts of the speech contains warnings about consumerism. So? The argument can also be made that is is pretty honorable for company who profits off consumerism to not be afraid to direct people to a great individual’s speech who warned of overspending/consumerism.

      Ram has had some very positive ads over the years. They’ve chosen not to say “hey, look how great our trucks are” and instead are saying “hey, look at the great things we can do with trucks” or “look at the great people that use trucks”. I think that is refreshing advertising.

    8. Having lived through those “difficult times,” and not giving a hoot about this years “game,” I’ve looked at a number of these “commercials” past & this one. Trying to keep an unbiased mind is difficult (I think for all of us), but I must say I see these Dodge, then RAM “ads” and, more often than not, get a tiny bit os Pride swelling up, AND an eye opening Awareness of all the “blemishes” we bare amongst all the Guts & Glory !
      I don’t see THESE efforts as “Ads,” but rather as Inspiration, Hope, Anticipation for Better things in the Future . . . THANK YOU RAM, I’m probably in the minority (being a white dude, Navy Vet.), but heck, I’ve stuck myself out on many a precarious limb before; why not now, why not here ! ps; I grew up in the “low rent districts” of Queens, N.Y.C. back in the 50’s & 60’s before my single parent (Mom) took a Leap-of-Faith and moved us to the ‘burbs’ ! It wasn’t because of an underlying hatred or mistrust of the people of color, it was as RAM implies ! I know this only many years later in discussions she & I had !
      Well, there you go . . . put myself on a limb, happy to do so . . . I FEEL BETTER already ! Again thanks RAM,

      1. I’d like to “rebuttal” myself, just a bit, to clarify things.
        After reading the Jalopnik Opinion-Piece and doing a tiny bit of MLK research . . . we all should take note that, yes, these words WERE taken Out-of-Context, which in itself can be misleading. Remember though FCA-US had the final “say” to run with the ad content, the Looming Question IS; who signed off on it AND did that person do due-diligence on it? I still stand by my thoughts though, and do not feel the AD is selling any Uninformed/misguided consumers into buying a RAM Truck. OF COURSE, this past year has proven WE ARE Vulnerable to all sorts of “Electronic Interference” on ALL “Platforms” & from many Dubious Sources across the Globe! WE SHOULD ALL CONSIDER THAT AND “PUSH BACK” against “The Machine OWNERS” & POLITICIANS THAT PLAY THAT “GAME” !? Thanks, just another of my “waiting to fall asleep” thoughts! ps; NO political intent implied or intended . . . if you think so, then perhaps it is you who “thinks it !” Remember; ‘The First Stone Thrown rule’!

    9. Most powerful add of the Super Bowl! Love it!!
      Not a Ram fan, but I love the passion they are putting into their trucks. Can’t see MLK having a problem with this commercial, considering it reenforces the message he and many others have fought (and died) for.

    10. Quizno’s had screaming hamsters at one time, and Sonic took people on acid trips before. Agreed about too much political correctness. People have become so sensitive and entitled to their own opinion no matter the subject and raise hell about everything hoping for a lime light or law suit. Ridiculous.

    11. I missed it some how, but another inspiring Ram commercial. If you are mad about this commercial you need to see a therapist.

    12. The Ram commercials were stupid. I could care less who’s feelings were hurt by them. Their new truck is boring and mainstream looking so I figure they needed some overdone and irrelevant commercial to take attention away from the actual truck.

    13. Reading through these comments, I can see why majority don’t get why African Americans are upset about this RAM commercial.

      I mean how could the majority white truck driving yahoos on these sites understand the stupidity of this commercial, when they don’t understand Black Lives Matters movement, and why African American athletes protest how they are unfairly treated by Gestapo tactics of police departments all over this country.

      It is the exact same mentality in play. This commercial, by a foreign owned entity (Fiat) takes advantage of attitudes of white America, particularly in these days of racist policies of Trump administration, and uses one of the most blessed leaders this country has had (white or African American), and tries to push more trucks to yahoos everywhere.

      I am sure when people look at Trump administration they also don’t see prejudice everywhere. I mean how could they, in a country that will soon be majority NOT white, there is one African American cabinet secretary and no Hispanics. You can’t make this stuff up.

      But this commercial is just a sign of times. No worries, the junk that Ram tries to sell in America, will soon be replaced by the GREAT TOYOTA brand. And I for one can’t wait for that day. Long Live Toyota.

      1. @ Paul M,

        Man you are reading way too much into this commercial.All Ram did,as they have done in the past,is use a very inspirational message from someone of prominence in our AMERICAN HISTORY ,to inspire people,ALL PEOPLE.

      2. Paul M is one more prime example of a liberal standing on his soapbox, spewing $&*!, getting his feelings hurt any way he can. The funny thing is is most of the hardcore outspoken liberals are the truly racist individuals. That’s true irony.

        1. the MLK sermon was based off a white liberal on a “soapbox”. Not to mention his stance on capitalism.
          Good commercial if void of MLK context. With context, distastful.

    14. The social justice warriors and twitter liberals are what’s making America soft and hypersensitive. The reason why there is any outrage is because they felt fooled when they saw that a pickup truck manufacturer was behind a commercial capable of inspiring people with MLK’s words; pickup trucks are meant for rednecks and white men who hate minorities according to the left.

      It was a good commercial with a great message of selflessness. Most people, including myself and my family didn’t even know of this speech until the Superbowl. Good on Ram for giving this speech more exposure.

      1. If you didn’t know of this speech, were born here and over the age of 13 the public school system has completely failed you.

        It’s impossible that any American “family” was unaware of this commercial. I refuse to believe that.

          1. I came to North America almost 20 years ago, like many other millions of people and was unaware of this speech. It’s great timeless speech even in these days and I appreciate I could hear it. You should be proud of that NA. Not about that junk other companies are pushing down your throat in their commercials.

            1. Zviera, hello & glad you made it (to N.A. – Canada or USA?). With YouTube (or the Public Library for that matter) one can easily “look up” just about anything. Now that you seem “interested” in MLK’s Words of Wisdom – seek and learn, He truly was an Amazing if not controversial American Icon ! As far as “the junk other companies are pushing . . .?” – Remember, You can’t be “bought” unless your wanting or willing to be sold ! In a Free Society we have Free Will – to tune in, turn out or change the channel ! There’s also Voting !

            2. Back in the 50’s and 60’s,in my house,my dad made my sister and I watch watch the news every night. And back in the 60’s,Dr.King was in the national news a lot.

              He did great work,and hated violence against anybody,regardless of skin color. Yet he endured violence against him.

              I’m glad to have grown up in those times,yet it saddens me deeply to see the violence happening again.

              Anyways,I seen nothing wrong in that commercial,and as Bernie pointed out,it had the full approval from Dr.King’s family.

              And Zviera,welcome to the new world.

    15. Social Justice Warriors always getting offended but then again they take the bus or let their parents drive them. Make Ram great Again!

    16. Finally got to seeing it just now. I think it was good. Definitely done in the same spirit as the Paul Harvey ad they ran a few years ago. Not as effective or strong, but it works and the message is heard and seen.

    17. I really like this ad from RAM, and I believe that does Dr. King, and all hard working Americans deserve respect, along with hard working trucks.

    18. I must say that overall marketing has very little effect on some of my buying decisions, however for cars it clearly effected my decision to buy a Power Wagon. The marketing rang true for me. And all of Rams commercials actually reach me as a buyer, not just PW specific. Real people, active life style doing really cool things… Kia’s Rats driving a car? Well, not so much…..

    19. Mlk lifted up the black man telling them that they have a dream to be successful. Today’s black leaders is the direct opposite they wanna dumb down the black man and make them rely on government to be successful, which doesn’t work. This what ram is insipering the black man to do just like mlk wanted.
      Ask your self this question did you hear anything from today’s black leaders for this ram commercial? Silent. What does that tell you? Mlk would probably look down on the current black leaders with great distane. I’m not ram fan , but it was just fine with me.

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